PARENTS

Pregnancy Week By Week: Week 16

19/07/2012 12:25 | Updated 22 May 2015
week 16: your partnerRex Features

Welcome to week 16

Chances are you've become quite absorbed in all things pregnancy related and not spent much quality time with your partner. So now is the time for a date-night. Why not revisit some of your old haunts from when you were first dating? Go for a meal at your favourite restaurant or even enjoy a naughty (or entirely innocent, depending on the state of your libido) weekend away? You'll be waving goodbye to a certain degree of spontaneity soon enough, so make the most of your pre-baby time now.

Inside story

Your baby is moving around pretty vigorously, although you probably won't have felt your first kick yet and may not until after week 18. Don't worry – that's perfectly normal. Your baby is also hiccupping away inside you: if you were to have a scan around now you'd see the hiccups as little 'jumps' made by your baby. Maybe you'll see it at your anomaly scan, which takes place around week 20. The average weight of a baby at this stage is around 80g (nearly 3oz), and average crown-to-rump length is 11.5cm (4.5 inches). Your baby's body is growing to catch up with the head, so they'll look much more in proportion by your next scan.

On the outside

Your hair and nails might still be blossoming, and this is partly because of the increase in blood volume that happens in pregnancy. Also, normal hair loss slows down almost to a halt in pregnancy, so your hair feels thicker.

Excuse us asking, but are you constipated? It's such a common pregnancy problem that you really shouldn't feel embarrassed about bringing it up with your doctor or midwife. The hormone progesterone is responsible for slowing down your digestion; plus your uterus is starting to press on your bladder and bowel. You can help yourself by drinking at least two litres of water (and other non-alcoholic fluids) every day, and stepping up your intake of dietary fibre. That means eating more wholemeal and wholegrain products as well as more fibrous fruit and veg such as apples, pears, plums, broccoli, kale, apricots and sweetcorn.

Things to think about

If you're returning to work after your maternity start exploring your childcare choices now. You can find what each type of care offers and what it will cost from the National Childminding Association (NCMA) or The Daycare Trust. Waiting lists for the best childcare can be very long, so to be sure you secure your choice it's worth putting your name down now. Don't worry that you'll get laughed at – good childcare providers are used to it, and it will help them plan for the future too.

If you're planning to ask parents or in-laws to help out with childcare, bear in mind that unless they are registered as childminders (which means they have to advertise their services and care for other people's children as well as yours) you can't use Childcare Vouchers towards the cost. From April 2011, grandparents providing childcare will be entitled to National Insurance credits.

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